Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

10 Years Later: Any Regrets?

Featured Profiles

Project for the New American Century
The Project for the New American Century, a letterhead group closely associated with the American Enterprise Institute, served as the cornerstone of a neoconservative-led campaign to promote the 2003 invasion of Iraq, helping unite key figures from various ideological factions behind the cause. By 2006, as the United States became increasingly bogged down in a bloody counterinsurgency war in Iraq, the group phased out most operations. Its various directors and supporters, however, remain active today, particularly in the effort to push for war against Iran.

John Yoo
John Yoo, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and professor at the University of California-Berkeley, is a former Justice Department official who helped author the Bush administration's infamous “torture memos." Yoo has continued to defend the Bush administration's more controversial policies, speciously arguing on the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq that unless the war's critics are willing to restore the Baath Party to power in Iraq, they must concede "that on balance, the benefits of the war outweigh the costs." Yoo has also defended the Obama administration's targeted assassination program, including targeting U.S. citizens.

Richard Perle
A fierce advocate of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq while an adviser to the Bush administration, Richard Perle later expressed misgivings about some aspects of the war, arguing that the Iraqis would likely not have handled the postwar situation "as badly as we did. We sent thousands of Americans over there to run a country they knew nothing about." Regarding the decision to invade, however, Perle states: "You can’t, a decade later, go back and say, 'Well we shouldn’t have done that.'"

Paul Wolfowitz
Veteran Middle East hawk Paul Wolfowitz—a key architect of the Iraq War—continues to support the decision to topple Saddam Hussein. In a recent interview with the Sunday Times, Wolfowitz said that although the Bush administration had certainly made errors in Iraq, “we still don’t know how all this is all going to end,” offering South Korea as an example of a country that eventually democratized decades after a U.S.-led intervention.

John Bolton
Former UN ambassador John Bolton, a vocal advocate of unilateral U.S. military intervention, is unapologetic about the U.S. war in Iraq, even by the standards of most neoconservatives. While dismissing those critical of the humanitarian impact of the war as admirers of "totalitarianism," Bolton brushed aside the notion that the war was at all about "making life better for Iraqis." Invoking a war in which the United States was actually attacked, Bolton declared, "we didn't wage war after Pearl Harbor to do nation-building for our enemies."

Michael Goldfarb
Michael Goldfarb, a former researcher at the Project for the New American Century, is a neoconservative pundit, activist, and consultant who has proven adept at funneling anonymous Republican donations into high-profile advocacy efforts. Sensationalistic reports published by the Washington Free Beacon—a conservative blog of Goldfarb's Center for American Freedom—have cemented his reputation as a self-styled provocateur with little regard for the facts.

Philanthropy Roundtable
The Philanthropy Roundtable is a research and advocacy group that helps right-wing donors channel money to an assortment of philanthropic and political causes. The group, which has had numerous connections to neoconservative foundations and advocacy groups over the years, recently attracted notice for its role in helping bankroll efforts to fight environmental regulations.

Washington Free Beacon
The Washington Free Beacon is a news and commentary site published by the right-wing Center for American Freedom. Modeling itself after liberal blogs like Think Progress, the Beacon has developed a reputation for personal attacks and sensationalistic headlines, often hyping neoconservative narratives. The Beacon's "tabloid-style" coverage led one columnist to lambast the site as "a down-market version of the Weekly Standard."

From the Wires

Hawks Defend War on Low-Key 10th Anniversary of Iraq Invasion
Most of the U.S. media and foreign policy commentariat opted to overlook the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq—save for the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute, which held a low-key event devoted to celebrating the so-called "surge" in 2007.

Ten Years After Iraq War, Neo-Cons Struggle to Hold Republicans
Neoconservatives and like-minded militarists continue to hold sway over the Republican Party's foreign policy establishment 10 years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, but they face a growing insurrection from libertarian deficit hawks.

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Halifax

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Featured Profiles

Update was slow, but still no lag in the editor window, and footnotes are intact.     This has been updated – Bernard Lewis, who passed away in May 2018, was a renowned British-American historian of Islam and the Middle East. A former British intelligence officer, Foreign Office staffer, and Princeton University professor, Lewis was…


Bernard Lewis was a renowned historian of Islam and the Middle East who stirred controversy with his often chauvinistic attitude towards the Muslim world and his associations with high-profile neoconservatives and foreign policy hawks.


John Bolton, the controversial former U.S. ambassador to the UN and dyed-in the-wool foreign policy hawk, is President Trump’s National Security Adviser McMaster, reflecting a sharp move to the hawkish extreme by the administration.


Michael Joyce, who passed away in 2006, was once described by neoconservative guru Irving Kristol as the “godfather of modern philanthropy.”


Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration’s second secretary of state, is a long time foreign policy hawk and has led the public charge for an aggressive policy toward Iran.


Max Boot, neoconservative military historian at the Council on Foreign Relations, on Trump and Russia: “At every turn Trump is undercutting the ‘get tough on Russia’ message because he just can’t help himself, he just loves Putin too much.”


Michael Flynn is a former Trump administration National Security Advisor who was forced to step down only weeks on the job because of his controversial contacts with Russian officials before Trump took office.


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From the Wires

Trump is not the problem. Think of him instead as a summons to address the real problem, which in a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people is the collective responsibility of the people themselves. For Americans to shirk that responsibility further will almost surely pave the way for more Trumps — or someone worse — to come.


The United Nations has once again turn into a battleground between the United States and Iran, which are experiencing one of the darkest moments in their bilateral relations.


In many ways, Donald Trump’s bellicosity, his militarism, his hectoring cant about American exceptionalism and national greatness, his bullying of allies—all of it makes him not an opponent of neoconservatism but its apotheosis. Trump is a logical culmination of the Bush era as consolidated by Obama.


For the past few decades the vast majority of private security companies like Blackwater and DynCorp operating internationally have come from a relatively small number of countries: the United States, Great Britain and other European countries, and Russia. But that seeming monopoly is opening up to new players, like DeWe Group, China Security and Protection Group, and Huaxin Zhongan Group. What they all have in common is that they are from China.


The Trump administration’s massive sales of tanks, helicopters, and fighter aircraft are indeed a grim wonder of the modern world and never receive the attention they truly deserve. However, a potentially deadlier aspect of the U.S. weapons trade receives even less attention than the sale of big-ticket items: the export of firearms, ammunition, and related equipment.


Soon after a Saudi-led coalition strike on a bus killed 40 children on August 9, a CENTCOM spokesperson stated to Vox, “We may never know if the munition [used] was one that the U.S. sold to them.”


The West has dominated the post-war narrative with its doctrine of liberal values, arguing that not only were they right in themselves but that economic success itself depended on their application. Two developments have challenged those claims. The first was the West’s own betrayal of its principles: on too many occasions the self interest of the powerful, and disdain for the victims of collateral damage, has showed through. The second dates from more recently: the growth of Chinese capitalism owes nothing to a democratic system of government, let alone liberal values.


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